Is it pos­si­ble to take too many sup­ple­ments?

Yoga Journal - - Live Well -

Yes, says Howard Sesso, SCD, an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor of epi­demi­ol­ogy at the Har­vard T.H. Chan School of Pub­lic Health: “Many large-scale clin­i­cal tri­als show that high amounts of in­di­vid­ual vi­ta­mins or min­er­als don’t trans­late into greater health ben­e­fits.” What’s worse, get­ting too much of cer­tain nu­tri­ents can put you at risk for side ef­fects rang­ing from an up­set stom­ach to birth de­fects and stroke due to brain hem­or­rhage. And al­though there are well-es­tab­lished use­age guide­lines for most vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, sci­en­tific stud­ies aren’t con­clu­sive when it comes to the safe max­i­mum daily dose for many herbal reme­dies and other sup­ple­ments, which means it’s smart to err on the side of cau­tion and take a less-is-more ap­proach, says Sesso.

To en­sure you don’t overdo it on sup­ple­men­tal in­gre­di­ents, be wary of those that pro­vide more than 1oo per­cent of a given daily value (so-called “mega­dose” prod­ucts), says Diane McKay, PhD, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at the Fried­man School of Nu­tri­tion Sci­ence and Pol­icy at Tufts Uni­ver­sity. “Your goal is to fill in gaps in your diet, not to in­dis­crim­i­nately dose your­self with vi­ta­mins, min­er­als, and herbs,” she says.

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